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the motivation to ask for what you want | Emily Nagoski :: sex nerd ::

Posted: August 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on the motivation to ask for what you want | Emily Nagoski :: sex nerd ::

Dr. Emily Nagoski got stuck: "In this case the Q is, 'I want to try X. How do I ask my partner for that?' But the A? I’m stuck." Thankfully, from her transparent learning come great teaching opportunities:

I could lecture endlessly about communication skills, self-esteem and self-acceptance, the value of honesty, the importance–indeed the art–of hearing "no" without taking it personally.

But in the end, the answer to, “How do I ask my partner to…?” is “You just suck it up and ask.”

For people like Emily (and, after practice, me) the benefit of asking is so self-evident that not asking seems crazy: "I think my frustration and helplessness with this question comes from my own history of having to beg partners please to just fucking tell me what they need, what they want…. Ask for what you want, I could say, because NOT asking for what you want is dishonest, selfish, and emotionally destructive." Amen!

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Love makes teen sex less academically harmful, study says – CNN.com

Posted: August 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Love makes teen sex less academically harmful, study says – CNN.com

A new study has "raise[d] some doubts about abstinence-only education programs that link all types of adolescent sex to a wide variety of problems for teens." The study, conducted by Eric Grodsky and Bill McCarthy and released at the annual American Sociological Association's meeting, found that teen sex is not inherently a bad omen for educational achievement. "The authors say students who have sex only with romantic partners have generally similar academic outcomes as students who abstain from sex," CNN reports. The study highlights the reality that the context of sexual activity greatly affects the outcome, positively or negatively. It revelaed "students who describe their sexual activity in terms of 'hook-ups,' 'friends with benefits' or 'bed buddies' are more likely to suffer a negative impact on their education," such as an increased chance of dropping out of school or a lower overall GPA. In other words, sex isn't the problem, lack of mutually rewarding relationships is. Duh!

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Update: We learned thanks to Heather Corinna that, as the media is wont to do, this study was severely misrepresented by journalists all over the place. In her analysis, Heather writes: “Some reporting and discussion of the findings suggests that big differences were found with academics for young people who had sex in non-romantic contexts and those who either have not had intercourse or who have done so in romantic contexts. But the study and the authors’ comments don’t appear to make that statement at all.” There’s a lot more, such as the fact that despite media reports to the contrary, the study never uses the word “causes” to indicate any harmful connection between teen sex and academic achievement, nor does it actually ever use the word “committed” to describe the relationships studied. Poor media reporting about sex and young people, and about young people’s sexuality in particular, is incredibly—infuriatingly—common.


Porn Star Aurora Snow Goes from Barely Legal to MILF – The Daily Beast

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

There are some massive, gaping, dirty fucking assholes in the porn industry—and no, I'm not talking about the models' bodies. I'm talking about the greedy scumbags who routinely display unwarranted sexism, ageism, and any number of other "isms" you can shake a stick at (and they do). That's why Aurora Snow's story, retold in her own words, is such a worthwhile read.

"Ten years ago, I was one of adult film’s hottest stars. Now I’m 28—and dismissed by directors as over the hill. How did I go from 'barely legal' to 'older woman' so fast?" she asks. The answer? She says "producers would read my age on paper and pigeon-hole me without even bothering to see what I looked like." But rather than cry foul, Snow is embracing new opportunities: "I have been pleased to discover that thanks to the Internet, what might be bad for the industry is good for me." Now she's studying business, being approached for mainstream roles, and wants to become a lawyer. She says porn helped her find her goals.

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Sex after 50 | Life and style | The Guardian

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Sex after 50 | Life and style | The Guardian

According to some reports, STI rates among elders has doubled. Sadly, many use this as an excuse to express sex-negative prejudice against older people. As Pamela Stephenson Connolly writes, "the prominence and style of these articles underscores the sexual ageism that pervades our society." Of course, a number of those articles are in The Guardian, a point notably missing from Connolly's article (in The Guardian).

Nevertheless, she makes some good points: "We should be encouraging elders, including those facing challenges of illness and disability, to voice their sexual concerns without fearing our prejudice and guilt. … Perhaps the best form of safe sex for older people is exactly what one would advocate for younger people if one could get away with it; out with abstinence preaching and in with promoting fabulous eroticism in all its many, non-penetrative forms."

Must we really "get away with it," or are concerns about young people simply the other side of the same ageist coin?

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ACRJ Blog: Guns N Genitals

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on ACRJ Blog: Guns N Genitals

Lisa Russ knows more about the National Rifle Association that you might expect of a writer at a reproductive justice blog, but she makes a brilliant comparison between the treatment of guns and genitals by folks in many parts of the United States. Gun rights, she reminds us, tend to be held most dear in the same states that are most likely to throw comprehensive sex education out the window in favor of the abstinence only variety. But the NRA has it's very own gun safety course, which teaches kids that guns are neither good nor bad, but a fact of life that they should learn to handle responsibly. Lisa wonders (and we wonder with her) – what's the difference between guns and genitals?

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U.S. and U.K. gay men differ in definitions of having ‘had sex’: IU News Room: Indiana University

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , | Comments Off on U.S. and U.K. gay men differ in definitions of having ‘had sex’: IU News Room: Indiana University

Brandon Hill, a lead researcher at the Kinsey Institute, reminds doctors and public health officials: "It is important for researchers and clinicians not to assume that their definition of 'sex' is shared by their participant or patient, and to use behaviorally specific criteria when conducting sex-behavior assessments, especially when assessing risk of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infection transmission." The cautionary advice is paired with the release of his latest study, published in the journal AIDS Care, wherein 180 gay men in the UK between 18 to 56 years old and 190 gay men between 18 to 74 were asked what behaviors constituted "having sex."

Among other things, the study revealed that 5% of respondents did not believe penile-anal intercourse was considered "sex." It also revealed playing with sex toys was "sex" to 77.1% of UK respondents, but only 55% of American respondents. That could explain a thing or two.

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Closed Court, Miller Time, and Joey Silvera’s Solidarity – Reason Magazine

Posted: July 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Closed Court, Miller Time, and Joey Silvera’s Solidarity – Reason Magazine

An important trial is pitting a politically outspoken pornographer, John Stagliano, against a gauntlet of questionable legal ethics. "The case against Stagliano concerns the selling of movies performed by consenting adults to entertain adult DVD viewers who have chosen to watch these films," Richard Abowitz reports. Using taxpayer money to get obscenity convictions for consensual erotic labor is bad enough, but Judge Richard Leon "is putting great effort into limiting public access to how justice is being administered in this case. […T]he strategic placement of monitors outside public sightlines reeks of the abandonment of the presumption of innocence." The case is being prosecuted with familiar anti-porn activist rhetoric. If Stagliano's relatively tame productions can earn years in prison, don't think you're safe from such anti-porn zealots.

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For Women, Biological Clock is an Aphrodisiac | Miller-McCune Online

Posted: July 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on For Women, Biological Clock is an Aphrodisiac | Miller-McCune Online

"27- to 45-year-old females 'think more about sex, have more frequent and intense sexual fantasies, are more willing to engage in sexual intercourse, and report actually engaging in sexual intercourse more frequently than women of other age groups,'" Tom Jacobs reports of yet-another-study. Psychologist Judith Easton asked 827 women to complete "a detailed online survey that included questions about their sexual desires and behaviors." The horniest respondents were dubbed RE or "reproduction expediting," an academic euphemism.

And why are they horny? Yet-another-evolutionary psychology theory: "women evolved a psychological mechanism…that motivated them to capitalize on their remaining fertility before likelihood of conception [became] less probable." But as Easton concedes, older womens' "increasing comfort with sexuality" may also account for some of their findings. Either way, a notion of men being driven by "spreading their seed" while women aren't similarly motivated is bogus.

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Last Night’s TV – The Sex Education Show: Am I Normal? Channel 4; Imagine, BBC1 – Reviews, TV & Radio – The Independant

Posted: July 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Did you know that the BBC has a television show entitled "The Sex Education Show: Am I Normal?" Did you know that this show is now in it's fourth season? If you answered no to both these questions, you may be American. And stunned! Although some, like the writer of this article, aren't entirely sure that this show doesn't push it's everything-is-normal, i'm-ok-and-you're-ok message a little too far, it's still impressive that the show managed to get on air at all, let alone for four seasons! They show nude pictures to high school students! Well done, UK TV. Now to look into getting BBC America….

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Governor signs 6 bills with no fanfare | Community News | News | Liberty Tribune

Posted: July 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Governor signs 6 bills with no fanfare | Community News | News | Liberty Tribune

Remember Missouri Senate Bill SB586? Unsurprisingly, it passed, and it's sure to cause upheaval in the state's sexually-oriented economy. According to the Liberty Tribune, "Gov. Jay Nixon signed [the bill] into law Friday, June 25. […] This legislation is intended to prevent deleterious secondary effects arising from sexually oriented businesses. The bill places a number of restrictions on such businesses, including a ban on establishing sexually oriented businesses near schools, day-care centers, churches, homes or other sexually oriented businesses."

It's that last restriction that sent the industry into a frenzy because it means that the overwhelming majority of established businesses will have to move or risk being in violation of the law due to sharing close quarters. But wait, there's more: "Other restrictions include…prohibition of knowingly appearing nude at such businesses." Wait, how do you unknowingly appear nude there?

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